Adopting clean energy solutions, such as newer energy storage batteries and electric vehicles, is a huge step toward eliminating your fossil fuel dependence. Batteries as a source of future home power are now more accessible than ever. They’re an important part of the energy transition, and the technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade and now shapes the future of electrification.
Energy storage is not new. Batteries date back to the 19th century. While early batteries used physical storage in a way that is similar to a capacitor, the technology quickly evolved to leverage electrochemical elements capable of more efficiently storing energy.
A battery is essentially a storage medium that uses two materials to facilitate electron transfer. When a battery receives a charge, electrons travel from the cathode to the anode via a chemical reaction. When a device draws power from the battery, the charge stored in the anode travels back to the cathode in a reverse reaction.
As of 2022, the battery market was worth over $105 billion, and it is only increasing in value. Experts believe this industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 15% over the next decade, with some key trends shaping the future of the industry.
Using batteries to power the home is increasingly easier, thanks to the prevalence of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The growth of electronics industries and the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) have largely contributed to the development of cost-effective energy storage in the form of Li-ion batteries, and experts believe demand for Li-ion batteries will grow elevenfold before 2030.
As electrification accelerates, battery manufacturers are increasingly looking for new battery materials and technologies.
Some of the latest innovations include iron-air batteries, solid-state energy storage, or lithium-ion batteries that eliminate the need for cobalt. Researchers have also found a way to use nanomaterials to build web-like cathodes and anodes that can hold more electrons.
Utilities are leading the way when it comes to developing battery projects on a larger scale. During Q2 2023, there were over 5,100 megawatt-hours added to existing grid-scale storage capabilities due to battery storage expansion.
While there are many homeowners interested in using batteries to power a home, often in conjunction with solar arrays to create a microgrid, grid-scale projects are currently the main sector driving growth for the battery industry. Electricity consumption could increase by 15% by 2050 in the U.S., and these grid-scale battery projects will play a crucial role in developing a strong infrastructure that can sustain the growing demand for electricity across the country.
Modern battery solutions increasingly rely on smart technology, including software and sensors. These smart technologies can manage interactions with the grid, protect the battery from charging fluctuations, and balance loads when drawing power from a battery.
The smart battery market was worth over $33 billion as of 2022, and these innovations can contribute to delivering a user-friendly and intuitive experience if you’re thinking about using batteries to power your home.
In the “old days,” people kept battery-powered flashlights and radios (and extra batteries) around for emergencies. Many also kept environmentally unfriendly and potentially dangerous gas-powered emergency generators around.
Modern energy storage systems accelerate the effort to power the whole house, offering more sustainability as well as economic, social, and environmental benefits. They safely supply electricity on demand, providing greater flexibility and power reliability, and can be coupled with other energy transition solutions such as bidirectional charging from electric vehicles, smart panels, and solar power arrays. Battery storage solutions can also reduce daily expenses for energy consumers, provide security and energy in times of power outages, and lessen the climate impact of power generation.
A growing number of homeowners are already investing in energy storage solutions. While utilities remain the main users of batteries for grid-scale applications, the residential battery market is growing at a CAGR of more than 17%.
If you’re wondering whether using batteries to power your home makes sense, these use cases will give you a better idea of the benefits.
Close to half of homeowners say they are worried about weather-related power outages, and with extreme weather and power outages becoming increasingly common, this is not with good reason.
Recent data shows that power outages tend to be more frequent and last longer, highlighting the need for a backup solution. Between rising temperatures and the aging infrastructure, this issue will only worsen. Cyberattacks on the energy infrastructure are another growing concern.
Using batteries to power the home increases resiliency in the event of power outages and also facilitates access to power in the context of off-grid systems. Homeowners installing home energy systems in rural areas can greatly benefit from investing in a whole-home backup solution since their local infrastructure is more likely to be dated, and repairs can take longer when fewer consumers are affected.
The residential solar market experienced year-over-year growth of 30% in Q2 2023. More homeowners are investing in clean energy solutions, and adding a storage system multiplies the benefits.
One of the main downsides of solar energy is that electricity production isn’t continuous and without an energy storage solution, electricity produced can only be used at the time of generation. Pairing a solar array with a battery system addresses this issue by making energy available 24/7, regardless of the output fluctuations of the solar panels.
Battery storage and solar integration also make solar array owners more independent from the grid. Incentives from states and utilities have contributed to driving solar adoption by encouraging homeowners to invest in solar panels and sell their surplus energy at a competitive rate. However, these solar incentives could come to an end. California reduced solar incentives being offered to homeowners who sell solar energy back to the grid, and more states could follow suit. If you’re looking to take advantage of available funding and incentives, it’s important to ensure you track any deadlines or funding limits.
Using a battery to store the energy produced for future use could be a more cost-effective model in an environment with reduced incentives.
Microgrids and nanogrids are emerging as solutions to building a modern power infrastructure that addresses a growing demand for electricity.
With almost 700 microgrids across the U.S., these systems are already empowering communities by giving them access to reliable energy. On a smaller scale, microgrids could soon become a more common way to power homes, multi-family buildings, and businesses. Experts estimate the global microgrid market will be worth over $60 billion by 2027.
These systems integrate local sources of energy, storage capabilities, an interface with the main power grid, and smart technologies that manage the energy draw.
Nanogrids and microgrids are flexible systems that adapt to demand in real-time by prioritizing the most affordable or cleanest source of energy. These systems will play a crucial role in supplementing the main power grid and making clean energy widely available.
As the nanogrid and microgrid markets grow, using batteries to power the home as part of a larger energy system will become a common practice.
The demand for electricity will increase over the next few decades, largely due to EV adoption and electrification. EVs make up over 8% of new car sales, but they could represent 13 to 29% of new sales by 2050.
As we move away from fossil fuels, we’re also seeing a growing number of homeowners ditching gas-powered appliances and replacing them with electric alternatives. In this context, using batteries to power your home has several benefits.
As outages continue to become more frequent and last longer, finding yourself unable to charge your EV due to a blackout is a genuine concern and a potential barrier to adoption. A residential battery solution would give you 24/7 access to a reliable source of power, eliminating this barrier.
Many utilities are responding to higher demand levels by adopting time-of-use pricing models. These models implement a higher rate during peak hours to discourage energy usage when the infrastructure struggles to keep up with the demand.
As EV adoption continues to grow, TOU models will likely result in high energy prices in the evening when drivers get home and plug their vehicles in. A battery system will give you the flexibility to charge your EV when needed without having to pay high TOU rates, and you can even create a customized battery charging schedule to fill up your battery during off-peak hours.
Bidirectional charging is still a new technology, but it will become more common in the near future as more auto manufacturers integrate this technology into new EV models. This technology allows EV owners to discharge their vehicle’s battery into their home, a battery storage solution, or even into another EV when a source of power is needed.
Additionally, some utilities allow homeowners to sell power back to the grid when demand is high, allowing you to charge your EV overnight and sell the stored energy back to the grid at a profit during peak demand in the day.
Having an at-home battery solution means that you can turn your EV into a source of power and discharge your vehicle’s battery when you need an emergency backup or simply want to avoid paying high TOU rates.
This technology can help you get more value out of your EV and offset the cost of ownership even further by reducing your energy bills.
Federal and state incentives are contributing to the growth of the energy storage market via investment projects. The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill over $6 billion to finance battery manufacturing development as well as EV battery recycling projects. At the state level, several states have established development targets and have been actively investing in creating a resilient energy storage infrastructure.
These initiatives include a mix of grid-scale projects and residential incentives. For instance, New York plans on adding six gigawatts of storage before 2030, and Connecticut is currently working on adding 1,000 megawatts of storage by 2030.
When it comes to regulations, the emphasis is on managing battery waste and reducing fire hazards. The National Electric Code added Article 706 in 2017 to set a standard for safe energy storage. Some states and local governments have also adopted new rules. New York and Alabama are among the states that have passed regulations to address the growing issue of battery waste, and New York City is currently looking into adopting rules to reduce fire risks.
Regulations are still limited, but it’s likely that we’ll see a regulatory framework appear over the next few years as the battery market continues to grow.
Energy storage batteries come in a variety of options. The marketplace segments them based on the following:
If you’re interested in using batteries to power a home, these industry leaders are a great place to start your search.
Keep in mind that you can offset the upfront cost of these solutions by taking advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit. This credit will cover up to 30% of the initial cost, and you might qualify for additional incentives at the state or local level.
The Tesla Powerwall is a popular home battery solution. With a 13.5 kWh capacity, these battery systems are ideal for the needs of most households, and you can opt for the Powerwall 3 to build a scalable system with more units if needed.
The 10-year warranty is a plus, and the user-friendly app will give you complete control over this performing energy storage solution. Tesla Powerwall can also detect outages automatically and switch to battery storage when needed.
Generac offers a flexible residential battery solution that uses modules to gradually increase its energy storage capacity. The smallest system uses three modules to deliver 9 kWh of storage and a continuous output of 4.5 kWh. This battery solution comes with PWRmanager, an advanced load management device that prioritizes key circuits during outages.
The Panasonic EverVolt is a flexible home battery solution that can draw power from AC or DC sources. It comes in three sizes, including 9 kWh, 13.5 kWh, and 18 kWh. You can stack up to four units to increase your system’s capacity. Integration with Panasonic solar panels is a plus, and these batteries come with a built-in solar inverter to streamline the installation process.
LG is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a reputable manufacturer that offers excellent service and maintenance. Thanks to the battery system’s modular design, you can easily remove components for maintenance or future upgrades. LG Prime comes in 19.2 or 32 kWh capacity, depending on your needs.
The SunPower SunVault battery system is a user-friendly choice. The companion app adds value by letting you easily customize when you charge the battery or draw power. The 10-year warranty also makes SunVault an excellent investment.
Homeowners need to understand their energy consumption. This includes both current and future consumption if you plan to add another EV or invest in another electrification project.
Once you have a better understanding of your energy needs, you can start comparing residential battery solutions to select the right fit. Then, you can begin to consider what type of support you need to add new storage or charging capabilities and, over time, to maintain them.
Installing a home storage battery setup is complex. The battery system needs to work with your home’s circuit panel, distribute power through your circuits, be properly mounted, and not be an eyesore. A critical load panel is also recommended to manage usage in emergencies. There are other important details, such as building codes and permit requirements.
Even if you are an electrician or engineer, preparing your home to charge an EV or retain and use stored energy requires advanced expertise and experience in dealing with EV charging technology. That’s why so many homeowners and firms choose Qmerit for their electrification projects.
With over 269,000 EV charging station installations, more than 18,500 battery storage installations, and 53,000 solar system integrations, and industry-leading satisfaction scores, Qmerit is a national leader in electrification. From installing Level 2 home charging stations and energy storage batteries to integrating solar power to working with the latest energy-efficient technology, no one is more trusted or experienced in energy transition technology solutions and implementations. With the largest network of certified installers experienced in energy transition technologies throughout the U.S. and Canada, Qmerit connects you with the best available contractors to install and maintain your energy storage batteries and other electrification technologies.
To find out more about using batteries to power a home and embrace a more resilient and sustainable energy future, contact Qmerit today.